Yoga To Prana

The Lures of Ethology

In his research studies, German psychologist Siegfried Frey (1999) took up Lichtenberg’s hypothesis, according to which humans automatically associate psychological propensities to body traits, even when there is no basis for such an attribution. As in yoga poses Hume’s theory, this tendency to attribute is automatically triggered in yoga poses the background of the mind every time a body trait is perceived. This trait is automatically associated to any material stored in yoga poses the memory that has some formal resemblance, such as the shape of someone we knew. For example, when we observe an actor imitate an emotional expression, we automatically conclude that the character played by the actor experiences the emotion corresponding to this expression. The same phenomenon occurs in yoga poses the drawing of a cartoon, where a few lines allow us to believe that there is a character who feels a violent emotion.

Here, we enter into the realm of the lures of the ethologists. Certain parts of the brain seem preprogrammed to make rapid decisions from very few clues, especially at the level of the limbic system51 The startle response and the flight-or-fight responses are often cited as examples of this kind of behavior. Given the speed of these responses, they are activated by a rapid and simplified analysis of the sensory material that enters into the organism Frey shows that the same type of rapid information processing is mobilized by an individual watching a TV news program Each time a personality appears on the screen, often only for a few seconds, the viewer reacts by mobilizing internal psychophysiological mechanisms that generate an affective impression (cardiac and respiratory rhythms, galvanic skin response, and the size of the pupils). This impression then activates inferences which support an attribution process. This is how, in yoga poses less than a second,52 a viewer attributes character traits to personalities he does not know. This process, once set in yoga poses motion, often creates persistent impressions that are difficult to modify.

Sexual arousal follows a similar process when a drawing, a silhouette, or a brief video clip suffices to activate it. To choose a woman who meets the marketing or pornographic norms of beauty has led many a man to be gravely deceived. in yoga poses this case, the man has difficulty recognizing the person who is behind a physical shape that meets the aesthetic norms extolled by society. It is common to say that the woman is then perceived as a sexual object instead of as a person. The force of the social stakes that play with this effect shows the power of the phenomena described by Lichtenberg and


The tendency to associate somatic and mental traits as if they form a coherent functional unity explains the impact of television on politics. The viewers in yoga poses front of the television speak with each other in yoga poses such a way as to permit themselves to infer psychological characteristics pertaining to a person based only on perceived appearance (here is a caring person, she seems to be right, we feel that she wants our good, etc.). This system of attribution stabilizes itself and is remembered independently from what is elaborated in yoga poses a more complex way in yoga poses other layers of the mind.53 People seems to prefer to vote for a presidential candidate who looks good on television than for a person who has an understanding of important issues.54

The Relative Robustness of Results Confirming the Relevance of Linear Models of Emotional Expression

There is something to the idea that certain forms of expression can be associated with more or less probability to certain affective states. However, this formulation is far from confirming a direct link. The first problem is that of the notion of psychological faculties. It is intuitively possible, thanks to some striking examples, to distinguish experiences of memory, intellectual analysis, and emotional reactions, but it is more difficult to make these examples correspond to distinct physiological and psychological mechanisms. I do not know of a theory that proposes a useful way to differentiate terms such as affects, emotions, feelings, passions, and so on. in yoga poses fact, we do not even know if terms such as emotion or intelligence correspond to real mechanisms, to existing subsystems of organismic dynamics.55 For example, the data collected by Paul Ekman (1980a) to demonstrate the existence of emotions proved to be disappointing. The analysis of his results, above all, points to four things:

1. It seems that most of the people who see photos of certain facial expressions associate them to the same emotion. This seems true in yoga poses most cultures and social milieus. The human mind certainly has a tendency to make a particular kind of inference faced with certain photos, even certain expressions. This confirms Lichtenberg’s and Frey’s hypotheses. For the moment, until more robust information on such matters becomes available, it is safer to assume that there is no direct link between behavior and personality.

2. The connection between photographs of basic emotions and their impact on viewers has a statistically significant positive correlation, but varies between 63 percent and 97 percent among the individuals interviewed. A smile with crow’s feet at the corner of the eyes56 is related to joy by more than 87 percent of the people interviewed in yoga poses Japan, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and the United States. Ekman does not explain why 13 percent of the subjects did not spontaneously associate the smile with joy. He is satisfied to conjecture that there are always exceptions. These numbers correspond to what we can expect from such a research strategy if the relationship between expression and the felt emotion is a direct universal one for the person who activates and the person who perceives the expression. We discover the same profile for the expressions of disgust and surprise. Sadness, anger, and fear yield less convincing results. The recognition of photos of individuals expressing anger, according to Ekman, varies from 82 percent for Brazilian subjects to 63 percent for the Japanese. The connection does exist, but it is relatively fuzzy, as predicted by systemic hypotheses.57

3. An expression can be associated to feelings other than those foreseen by Ekman’s theory of emotions. This is particularly evident in yoga poses the case of actors who want to encourage the audience to infer feelings that the actor does not especially feel, or in yoga poses the case of singers who make facial expressions to form sounds that do not necessarily have a connection to emotions. This last effect is so well known that Ekman and Friesen recommend that the emotional expressions should not be coded when someone is vocalizing.

4. In analyzing lengthy sample of films (one hour long) instead of photos, the researcher often observes repetitive facial expressions that appear without having been activated by any particular event.58 Some of them have the configuration of an emotional expression, defined by Ekman and Friesen, when the image on the video is paused. When someone takes a photo, the face is artificially immobilized. What seems to form an expressive configuration on a photo does not necessarily give the same impression when the image is reviewed on film It seems to me that the press often uses this artifact when they want to make the public believe that a personality has expressed a precise emotion at a key moment. The status of apparently emotional expressions that are transitory (they often last less than a half a second) and are as repetitive as a tic, without a clear stimulus, cannot be defined in yoga poses the framework of Ekman’s specific theory.

Eva Banninger-Huber and Doris Peham (2010a) mention that in yoga poses most of the studies that use FACS to study emotional expressions, researchers only code the facial units that are often used for emotional expressions and do not take other units into consideration. They tend to use procedures that are so simplistic that most of these studies are inappropriate for the study of the various facets of facial behavior and are therefore often very limited.

This type of analysis encourages more complex thinking about the connections between affects and behaviors, especially on the way to distinguish different kinds of affective functions. It is now possible for us to appreciate the soundness of Lamarck’s attack against linear parallelistic theories such as Gall’s: The essential point to consider is that in yoga poses every system of animal organization, nature cannot have only one method to make the various organs perform their appropriate functions (Lamarck, 1809, III, introduction, 464).59

Spirituality, Hypnosis, and Energy

The nineteenth century in yoga poses Europe was an epoch in yoga poses which inventiveness manifested itself in yoga poses all domains, even in yoga poses what is sometimes referred to as the esoteric sciences. One of the central moving forces of the innovations in yoga poses this domain is the Freemason movement, which can boast of having influenced the creation of the United States of America,1 the beginnings of the French Revolution, the women’s liberation movement, some non-Marxist socialistic movements, and the need for a secular government.2 Another important development at the time is formed by the Protestant spiritualist movements that support the impression that one can communicate with the dead and that faith can heal. The whole of the ancient esoteric systems, like tarot and astrology, were entirely revised. Up until the seventeenth century, astrologists were astronomers who drew their charts from the observations of the stars.3 The illustrious Kepler is one of the last examples of this long tradition, which goes back to the city of Babylon in yoga poses ancient Mesopotamia. Since the nineteenth century, the astrologists possess printed charts that invent an approximation of the sky whose harmony and logic make easy calculations possible and for conclusions compatible with divination using the symbolic language of tarot.4

The filiation that is often mentioned between Mesmer and Freud passes through a series of trends that participate in yoga poses this immense reconstruction of the field consisting of schools with spiritual orientations. Because I am not a specialist in yoga poses this matter, I only briefly touch on it. It merits development because it remains powerfully influential in yoga poses the world of psychotherapy. Some psychotherapists integrate, in yoga poses innovative ways, approaches developed by the yogi and the alchemists of China and Europe. Jung’s name is often used to support this way of thinking.

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